Josef Aftrisch
Josef Aftrisch ca. 1955
Born13 March 1901
Died25 August 1964 (age 63)
OccupationHorticulturalist
Politician
Minister of the Interior
Political partySPÖ
Parent(s)Anton Afritsch father

Josef "Beppo" Afritsch (13 March 1901 - 25 August 1964) was an Austrian horticulturalist who became a politician (SPÖ). Between 1959 and 1963 he served as the country's Interior minister.[1][2]

In 1964, just a few weeks before his sudden death, a rose was named after him, "Minister Afritsch".[3]

Life

Provenance and early years

Josef Afritsch was born at the start of the twentieth century in Graz, at that time the sixth largest city in Austria-Hungary. His father was the journalist and pioneering campaigner for child welfare, Anton Afritsch (1873-1924).[4] His brother, Viktor Afritsch [de] (1906-1967), later came to prominence as a stage and movie actor. Afritsch underwent a conventional schooling, followed by three years at Horticultural Academy in Eisgrub, South Moravia.[4] In 1923[4] or 1926[1] he joined the city of Vienna's Parks and Gardens service,[4] which he helped to rebuild in the chaotic aftermath of war. Here he organised the city's official Plant Protection Service ("Pflanzenschutzdienst ")[5]

Politics

In parallel with his work for the Parks Department he worked as an official of the Social Democratic Party.[4] After the bloody streets fights of February 1934, until 1938 Afritsch was an active participant in the welfare activities of the "Society of Friends". Tasks included the distribution of donations received from Great Britain and the United States to working class Viennese families who had fallen into penury through loss of family income caused by the death, injury or detention of the family wage earner.[6] In 1938, a few months after the incorporation of Austria into Nazi Germany, it was Josef Afritsch who applied trades union funds to obtain a ticket on Lufthansa's inaugural scheduled flight from Vienna to Berlin for Bruno Kreisky, the future Federal Chancellor, who both as a SPÖ activist and as a Jew had repeatedly fallen foul of the pro-Nazi government since 1934.[7] From Berlin Kreisky was able to fly on to Denmark and then to Sweden where he spent the next eight years in political exile.[7]

In 1942 he was relieved of his public service duties and arrested.[8] Ten months in prison ("Kerker") ensued, followed by two years in a penitentiary ("Zuchthaus").[8]

After the war

Between 1945 and 1959 Afritsch was a member of the Vienna City Council and a member of the Vienna Regional Legislature (Landtag).[8] In 1946 he was formally elected to the City Office for General Administrative Matters, an office to which he had been appointed the previous year under the conditions of military occupation. He continued in this position for a long time, acquiring a deep knowledge of various aspects of city administration, and taking care of the naturalisation of tens of thousands of ethnic Germans displaced by the ethnic cleansing that was a feature of the postwar settlement.[1]

In 1951 he was appointed Director of the City Parks and Gardens, but he was immediately sent on leave in order that he might continue his existing administrative responsibilities for the city authorities.[7]

In July 1959 he was appointed Austria's Interior minister in the Grand Coalition government led by Chancellor Raab (ÖVP),[9] in 1961 retaining the position, under Chancellor Gorbach (ÖVP), till 1963.[10] Between 14 December 1962 and 25 August 1965 he sat as a member of the Austrian parliament ("Nationalrat").[11]

His final government post was as the Government Commissioner for the Vienna International Garden festival which was held in the Danube Park (as it has been called since that time) between 16 April and 11 October 1964. It was during the festival, on 9 July, that the "Minister Afritsch" rose, named in his honour, was presented.[12]

Josef Afritsch died suddenly, just a few weeks later, on 25 August.[12]

Awards and honours

References

  1. ^ a b c "Josef Afritsch: österreichischer Politiker". Munzinger-Archiv GmbH, Ravensburg. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  2. ^ "Anti-semitic Student Organization Dissolved in Austria; Was Neo-nazi". Jewish Telegraphic Agency. 5 December 1961. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  3. ^ "Minister Afritsch". Růže v ČR, jejich popis a fotografie. Retrieved 29 April 2016.
  4. ^ a b c d e "Josef Afritsch". "Wien Geschichte Wiki". Wiener Stadt- und Landesarchiv. 29 March 2016. Archived from the original on 13 January 2016. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  5. ^ "Afritsch, Josef". Ehrengrab auf dem Zentralfriedhof (Gr. 14C/23) (This detail comes from data archived at Vienna's vast "Central" Cemetery where he is buried in an area reserved for the corpses of the eminent.). This source is based on Österreich-Lexikon, E. Bruckmüller, Verlagsgemeinschaft Österreich-Lexikon, 2004 (3 vols.), and reproduced online by Graz University of Technology (i.A. "Austria Forum"). Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  6. ^ Susanne Miller (author); Antje Dertinger (introduction) (2005). So würde ich noch einmal leben. Erinnerungen. Dietz, Bonn. ISBN 978-3-8012-0351-1.
  7. ^ a b c Maria Wirth (2011). Aufstieg und Funktionen in der SPÖ. Christian Broda - eine politische Biographie. V&R Presse (Universität Wien). p. 165. ISBN 978-3-89971-829-4.
  8. ^ a b c "Josef Afritsch - Überblick". Republik Österreich, Parlamentsdirektion, Wien. 2 January 1990. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  9. ^ "Mitglieder der Bundesregierung und Staatssekretäre" (PDF). Index zu den Stenographischen Protokollen des Nationalrates und des Bundesrates - I. Band: Personenregister - A. Bundesregierung, Staatssekretäre, Präsident und Vizepräsident des Rechnungshofes sowie Volksanwälte. Republik Österreich, Parlamentsdirektion, Wien. p. 9. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  10. ^ "Mitglieder der Bundesregierung und Staatssekretäre" (PDF). Index zu den Stenographischen Protokollen des Nationalrates und des Bundesrates - I. Band: Personenregister - A. Bundesregierung, Staatssekretäre, Präsident und Vizepräsident des Rechnungshofes sowie Volksanwälte. Republik Österreich, Parlamentsdirektion, Wien. p. 9. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  11. ^ "1. Mitglieder des Nationalrates" (PDF). B. Nationalrat und Bundesrat. Republik Österreich, Parlamentsdirektion, Wien. p. 65. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  12. ^ a b "71. Minister Afritsch, Minister Afritzsch, Tantau (DE) 1964 Floribunda rot kein Duft". Wolfgang Brandt u. Maria Mail-Brandt i.A. Welt der Rosen. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  13. ^ a b "Aufstellung aller durch den Bundespräsidenten verliehenen Ehrenzeichen für Verdienste um die Republik Österreich ab 1952" (PDF). 23 April 2012. Retrieved 30 April 2016.
  14. ^ Bayer. Staatskanzlei, R. Peter, correspondence 21 March 2007